Thunder Over Dover 2019 celebrates Air Force heritage, future

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jeremy Jacobellis
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 40,000 people visited Dover AFB for the 2019 Thunder Over Dover Air Show and Open House Sept. 14-15, 2019.

The event featured more than 20 aerial performances from multiple military and civilian performers, as well as dozens of static displays of the Air Force’s most iconic aircraft for spectators to view up-close.

“Thanks for being a part of this with us,” said Col. Joel Safranek, 436th Airlift Wing commander, during the second day’s opening ceremony. “Please remember, Dover Air Force Base is your air force base. Introduce yourselves to our Airmen; they’re excited to tell you about what they do.”

The theme of this year’s air show was “Honoring our Heritage … Forging the Future,” showcasing historic aircraft from the Air Force’s 72-year aviation history, as well as from its current inventory, to include fifth-generation fighter jets.

“We have representation of our early air power, ranging from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict and on to present day air power,” said Lt. Col. John Trombetta, 2019 Thunder Over Dover Air Show director. “We’ve brought in a bunch of military air acts and civilian air acts. We (also) have military ground displays and a bunch of civilian displays.”

The featured act of this year’s show was the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez performed a variety of aerial maneuvers, demonstrating the cutting-edge warfighting capabilities of the Air Force’s premier fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Other military aerial performances included the C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III, hallmarks of the Team Dover mission, and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Team, the Black Daggers.

Several civilian aerial performers also participated in the air show. Col. Bruce Heinlein, Civil Air Patrol Mid-Atlantic Region commander, performed flybys in a C-182. Jacquie B. Warda and others, including Grant Nielsen, RJ Gritter and John Klatt, executed gravity-defying loops and rolls in various aircraft.

Along with showcasing airpower, the event was Dover AFB’s way to say “thank you” for the community’s continued support.

Safranek reiterated the inclusiveness of the community when mentioning ‘Team Dover.’ Their unfailing support and dedication to Dover AFB Airmen allows us to continue delivering Rapid Global Airlift anytime, anywhere.